Here’s What Happens to WhatsApp Users Who Don’t Accept the New Privacy Policy


WhatsApp has stirred a huge controversy over its new privacy policy update. The new policy has been criticized not only by users but also by the Indian government. It was initially rolled out in January earlier this year. But, WhatsApp had to halt the rollout and delay the policy update to May 15th. The company is now undertaking the uphill task of educating users on how the new policies affect their private data.

Amidst all of this hullabaloo, WhatsApp has also answered one of the most important questions related to their policy update. Users only have until May 15th to accept the changes. What will happen to your WhatsApp account if you choose not to accept the privacy policy update? What happens after the deadline?

If you do not accept the privacy update, then your WhatsApp account will not be deleted – at least not right away. The company, as announced yesterday, will be pushing out new in-app banners to better explain the policy changes. It says that you have enough time to review the “changes at your own pace and convenience.” They will not affect your personal chats in any way. And the use of business and payments features, whose data will be shared with Facebook to better target ads, are optional. We’ve explained the policy update in our YouTube video right here:

Now, you have close to three months to give the privacy policy a thorough read and hit the ‘Accept’ button. If you don’t, then come May 15th, your WhatsApp functionality will be limited. As per an official FAQ page, “For a short time, you’ll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won’t be able to read or send messages from the app.” Plus, this short time will span a few weeks. This was first reported by TechCrunch.

The story does not end there. Coming back to whether your WhatsApp account will be deleted if you do not accept the new policies or not? The answer is yes — but after 120 days. The Facebook-owned messaging giant will apply the inactive users policy to those who do not accept the changes.

This means if you do not accept the changes in the next 120 days, then your WhatsApp account will be deleted. You will lose access to all of your chats. The new privacy policy was earlier said to go into effect from 8th February. The huge outrage and confusion saw the company delay the rollout to May 15th. A number of users have since switched to more privacy-focused messaging apps like Telegram and Signal. It will be interesting to see how much of a dent this policy change will make in WhatsApp’s huge 2 billion-strong userbase.

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